Sunday 30 November 2008


Today marks the start of Advent- a time when Christians prepare to be ready to celebrate Christ's birth at Christmas. Time too for me to get my priorities right as well . A time to reflect,for me, on ancient words,well loved lyrics and carols too. The words to "Of the father's love begotten .." are centuries old yet speak across the centuries so much to me.

On the hobby front I had hoped to get more painting done than I did .However I have found an interesting command figure which I did a simple conversion on with a change of head attire facilitated by scalpel blade. I enjoyed watching "Time bandits " with my daughters yesterday - a much underrated film I feel. It conjours up atmospheres beautifully and is always inventive and surprising...
I have got my Christmas present ordered from the family - "The Wargame Companion" and look forward to reading it over the holidays . I trust you all had a good weekend too. I bet you were glued to Stokes's fantastic game too - inspiration in abundance

Thursday 27 November 2008

Of Magazines and ideas...

The rain is pouring and the week has been long and tiring. I have become distracted once more - the lure of bicorne and/or shako in 28mm with biggish units! Yet I sit at home delighted with this magazine which arrived today. I am fed up with the glossies on the high street- lovely pics but little text. I look briefly and leave them upon the shelves these days. Yet "Battlegames" has both (great pics and great text) and more..
I have read quite a few issues but not yet subscribed- I fear I will have to do so . This is the tonic I needed- thanks Henry and others! The fascinating article on the Freikorps has begun me pondering what might have happened in the Duchy of Tradgardland in 1918 and beyond - not to mention Saschen -Vindow... Too many ideas not enough time and money- I imagine that is something we all have in common... I will leave off and get back to the articles! P.S a happy thanksgiving to all my American blogging associates on EvE and beyond- have a good one!

Wednesday 26 November 2008

A change of hat shape...

Oh no I have succumbed to the Bicorne!! I have thrown mine into the ring and committed to raising some Napoleonic French. To be particular- Massena's army of Portugal 1810 - 6th Corps,3rd Divison under Gen Loison !! I will tell you more when I get over the shock...

Monday 24 November 2008

Williamsburg and Miffy

I had a comment posted by Jeff yesterday.
He wondered who the character modelled in snow by my daughter was. Here is a picture of Miffy . She is a rabbit featuring in charming books by Dick Bruna. He writes fantastic books with simple yet elegant words and pictures. Anna,my middle daughter, has been a fan for many.many years!
On an entirely different subject-I have found an interesting Blog about casting a cannon-I enclose the link

It is part of a website I really enjoy - Colonial Williamsburg. If you haven't had a look it is well worth looking for inspiration. I would be interested ,if any of you have been there, to hear your comments upon the place and the whole set -up there.

Sunday 23 November 2008


Last Saturday was the first snows in the Duchy of Tradgardland . Last night saw the first snows in the kingdom of Fife . My
youngest daughters went out and enjoyed the snow. They eventually transformed their snowman into a snow sculpture of Miffy. She is accompanied by her own snowman. I also managed to get some of the 48 figure battalion painted. I also think I shall raise some 1809 French...

Saturday 22 November 2008


We went shopping to Perth this afternoon and I saw the book on the right in Waterstones. It is a collection of biographies and fascinating details about early science and scientists. I had a look and it looked most interesting. Just the sort of things the Ducal Society in Tradgardland undertakes or is it undertook?
I rose earlyish today and did some work on my first 48 figure infantry unit for Saschen-Vindow. It will be made up of RSM figures and should be quite impressive en masse. I browsed thru Wargames Illustrated in WH Smiths. An interesting article on syw rules was illustrated by beautifully painted figures- painted well,well beyond my standard. It initially made my morale sink but I guess its more about fun than expertise. Eye candy can be useful to spur one on at times. I must realise it is not a competition but a hobby!!
I read on the grimsby mariner blog about an author called Greg Heyes ( I think) who writes alternate universe novels about the 18th century. These are totally unknown to me and I wondered if any of you were familiar with them? I would be interested in your thoughts...
I have finally chosen a figure for The Duke of Tradgardland and have been working on him too. I hope you are all having a good weekend- enjoy!

Saturday 15 November 2008

First snowfall...

The first snows of winter have alighted upon Tradgardland. In the villages the people huddle by the fireside at night as the wolves prowl around the outside looking for food and shelter.

The first snows rarely last long, yet they provide a time to sit round of an evening and take stock of everything. A time to prioritise one's daily tasks, to bask in that which has gone well and banish the ghosts of the past.

Wednesday 12 November 2008

Pigeon post 2

Another post by pigeon arrives.Out of breath and in a state of collapse the bird releases its note:----------My Dear Duke,The expected battle of the 8th instant at Carmugeon Castle did not occur. The Prince did not attack.Your Obt. Servant,von Bergmann.

Duke Karl Frederick finds a scrap of parchment and begins to write:
My Dear Von Bergmann,it is good to hear of your safety yet vexing that the long expected battle did not occur. Has the Prince gone into exile or is he planning so to do? Has he no longer service for your good self, your men and the Duc ?I await your answer with interest. All is well here in the Duchy and our friend in Saschen-Vindow works with haste.
God be with you ,Karl Frederick
The parchment is fixed to a pigeon's leg and it is sent heavenwards towards Edinburgh...

Monday 10 November 2008

Nocturnal conversations in the Palace of Tradgardland

And how is our loyal servant in Sachsen-Vindow?
All is well Duke Karl!
I received a communication yesterday - I hope the fellow has not over exposed himself...
Worry not ,your Grace, all will be well!
Is nothing suspected at all?
Nothing ?
And will our plan succeed ?
Indeed ,your Grace I am sure he is the man for the job...
Pray God you are right! You may go now.
Good night your Grace.
God be with you too.

Sunday 9 November 2008

Pigeon post...

The messenger pigeon alighted upon the window of Duke Karl Frederick's study. Talking to it in a soothing manner, the Duke unwrapped a folded paper,which he extracted from a small copper tube attached to it's leg. He read the following:

"Things are afoot here in the castle. Duke Peter is planning to go upon autumn manoeuvres with the Ducal army. I will explain more when I can."

Having read the note the Duke threw it upon the fire and stared at the flames ,deep in thought, for along,long time...

Dear reader you are directed to the following blog for further insight:

Monday 3 November 2008

Further Winter plans...

At the weekend I told you of my plans re Napoleonics and 16th Century Reivers. I also said how I wished to continue building up the forces of Tradgardland. Much thought was given to all this whilst travelling on trains to and from work , as well as whilst washing up after tea tonight. I feel I just don't fancy using my Austrians to invade the Duchy from the Austrian Netherlands again. However I would like the Tradgardlanders to have an opponent...
Oh no,I hear you cry, he's off imaginationing ( if that be the word)again! Well I am afraid you are right in what you have thought.
I have taken, as my stimulus, a flag I designed recently for a as yet unknown regiment from a as yet unknown country.In the far off recesses of my mind there is the seed of an idea germinating- a small Duchy upon the periphery of Tradgardland.Of course we are all aware of the Tardis like nature of the borders of Tradgardland - in other words small duchies can be contained without affecting our map or anyone else! I will see where the idea takes me - I will think some more upon the matter and will let you know where my thoughts go. Now let me see this Standard belongs to...

Saturday 1 November 2008

Winter plans ( at the moment at least!!!)

Well we went to the Kirriemuir show and saw some interesting games- a lovely Sudan game with Perry figs, a medieval siege of Orleans, 1796 French v Austrians to name but a few. The 1st 200 folk thru the door got a free figure- a highlander who will paint up a treat as a chief!

I didn't buy anything but some plans crystallised for the forthcoming winter...

My regular opponent,Phil , is going to paint up some 1807 Brits and I will paint up some Danes of the period. We will try and use BAR as a system rather than "In the grand Manner" which was one option.Units will be about 30 to 40 figs strong for the inf. As light relief we are looking at Border Reiver Skirmishing - small forces and we have suitable terrain already - tho I am tempted by a peel tower. Some reivers will be bought and sundry cattle and sheep...

I will also proceed with the forces of Tradgardland and will need to get some figures underway for Funnylittlewars in 54mmm. All in all I am pretty fired up with enthusiasm - more than I have been for ages. Let's hope that work related fatigue doesn't get in the way too much. Have a good weekend one and all!